||A team of cancer specialists
from OncoLink.org, the award-winning cancer Web-based resource
of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, has
launched OncoLife, the first and only individualized
plan-of-care based on the national Institute of Medicine’s
recommendations for adult cancer survivors.
||Free and easy to use, the new program – soon
to be available in Spanish – provides cancer survivors
with information regarding the health risks they face as a result
of cancer therapies, as well as a defined plan of action to maintain
their health once they are out of treatment.
||Cancer patients have to endure many negative
side effects of treatment, and they don’t all stop once
it is discontinued.
||What distinguishes OncoLink and OncoLife
from other Web-based cancer information resources is that both
are completely run by oncology physicians, nurses and other health
care professional from Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center.
(PHILADELPHIA) — A team of cancer specialists from OncoLink.org,
the award-winning cancer Web-based resource of the Abramson
Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, has launched OncoLife, the
first and only individualized plan-of-care based on the national
Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for adult cancer
survivors. Free and easy to use, the new program – soon to
be available in Spanish – provides cancer survivors with
information regarding the health risks they face as a result of
cancer therapies, as well as a defined plan of action to maintain
their health once they are out of treatment.
“The good news for cancer survivors is that their numbers
are growing,” said James Metz, MD, a radiation
oncologist and editor-in-chief of OncoLink. “Thanks to more
successful cancer therapies, an estimated 10 million survivors
are living in the United States today. Unfortunately, cancer treatments
are not without consequences and many of these survivors are dealing
with the long term effects of treatments with little or no guidance.”
The OncoLife program, written for survivors of adult cancer, is
a simple on-line questionnaire that patients, or their caregivers,
survivors go to the OncoLink homepage (http://www.oncolink.org) and
click on the link for the OncoLife page.
patients anonymously answer a few demographic questions and seven
disease-specific questions, such as type of cancer, treatment,
therapy, and surgery, etc.
all the questions are answered and submitted, OncoLife produces
a personalized, comprehensive long-term survivorship care plan
are then encouraged to review their personalized plan with their
health care team – primary care physicians, gynecologists,
cardiologists, etc. – to further assess their risk and
become active participants in their own follow-up care.
Cancer patients have to endure many negative side effects of treatment,
and they don’t all stop once it is discontinued. For example,
chemotherapy can cause cognitive impairment. Radiation therapy
administered near the heart or major arteries can cause premature
heart disease. Women treated for Hodgkin’s disease as children run an increased risk of developing breast
“We were getting an increasing number of e-mails at OncoLink
from cancer patients all over the world asking basically the same
thing: ‘Is what’s happening to me a result of
my cancer treatment?’,” said Carolyn
Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN, oncology nurse educator and creator of
OncoLife. “Often, their own oncologists would tell them, ‘No,
it wasn’t.’ So, as more and more questions about long-term
survivorship came flooding in, we realized how many people didn’t
have reliable health care resources to help them chart a survivorship
plan. We knew we had to help and we knew we had to create a plan
that anyone could access.”
So Vachani, with input from fellow colleagues and OncoLink staff,
devised a simple on-line questionnaire that patients could complete
or caregivers could complete for their loved ones. The result – the
OncoLife Survivorship Care Plan – is a free, easy to understand,
practical tool that patients can use together with to the guidance
of their primary care physician to chart out their health care
What distinguishes OncoLink and OncoLife from other Web-based
cancer information resources is that both are completely run by
oncology physicians, nurses and other health care professional
from Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. “We’re real
doctors and nurses who see real cancer patients every day,” said Maggie
Hampshire, RN, BSN, OCN, a radiation oncology nurse and
managing editor of OncoLink. “We’re the ones providing
the information on our website and responding to patient inquiries – not
copy writers or PR agency consultants. We don’t just write
about people living with cancer, we’re helping them get on
with life after it.”
# # #
The Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) of the University
of Pennsylvania is a national leader in cancer research,
patient care, and education. The pre-eminent position of the
Cancer Center is reflected in its continuous designation as
a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute
for 30 years, one of 39 such Centers in the United States.
The ACC is dedicated to innovative and compassionate cancer
care. The clinical program, comprised of a dedicated staff
of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers,
physical therapists, nutritionists and patient care coordinators,
currently sees over 50,000 outpatient visits, 3400 inpatient
admissions, and provides over 24,000 chemotherapy treatments,
and more than 65,000 radiation treatments. Not only is the
ACC dedicated to providing state-of-the-art cancer care, the
latest forms of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment
are available to our patients through clinical themes that
developed in the relentless pursuit to eliminate the pain and
suffering from cancer. In addition, the ACC is home to the
300 research scientists who work relentlessly to determine
the pathogenesis of cancer. Together, the faculty is committed
to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
OncoLink was founded in 1994 by
Penn cancer specialists with a mission to help cancer patients,
families, health care professionals and the general public get
accurate cancer-related information at no charge. Recent changes
have been made to OncoLink to update the look and feel of our
site. OncoLink is designed to make it easy for the general public
to navigate through the pages to obtain the information that
they want. The home page has buttons and hypertext links. If
you click on the buttons or the underlined text with your mouse,
you will go directly to your area of interest. Through OncoLink
you can get comprehensive information about specific types of
cancer, updates on cancer treatments and news about research
advances. We update the information everyday and provide information
at various levels, from introductory to in-depth. If you are
interested in learning about cancer, you will benefit from visiting
PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise
dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical
research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists
of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded
in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University
of Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt
of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News
& World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented
medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students,
the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior
education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists
and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals,
all of which have received numerous national patient-care honors [Hospital
of the University of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's
first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice
plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite
facilities; and home care and hospice.
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.